So your thoughts should be oriented towards truth, goodness and beauty. Let there be a constant remembrance of truth in your life. Whenever you find time, reflect on truth, reflect on goodness and on beauty. And whenever you are about to do something, before you begin, think for a moment whether what you are about to do will be in harmony with truth, goodness and beauty or against them. If there are thoughts in your mind, consider whether this flow of thoughts is conducive to truth, to goodness and to beauty. If it is the opposite, then stop these thoughts immediately, don’t encourage them. They will be harmful to you, they will pull you down and ruin your life. So be aware of the kinds of thoughts that are running through your head and with courage, effort, perseverance and determination divert them towards purity and truth.
Many times you will feel that you don’t even know what truth is. Many times you will think that you don’t even know what goodness is. It is possible that you may not be able to decide, but at least you have thought about it and have tried to find out. This in itself is good and will bring about changes in you. And someone who is continuously reflecting will slowly, slowly realize that he knows what truth and what goodness is.
Before every thought, every word and every act, stop for a moment. There is no hurry. See what you are about to do, what its result will be. What does it tell you? What will happen as a result of it? It is very important for a seeker to think this way.
So the first thing about the basic purification of thought is to observe what the central focus of your thoughts is. If you don’t focus in any one of the ways that I am talking about, then it will be helpful for you to develop this practice.
You will be surprised to know that of the three aspects – truth, goodness, beauty – if even one is active in you then the other two will also automatically become active. And I should mention to you that there are three types of people. One type has a possibility for a quick awakening of the truth aspect, the second type has a possibility for a quick blossoming of the aspect of goodness and the third type has a possibility for a quick blossoming of the aspect of beauty.
For each of you there will be one dominant aspect, but if even one aspect becomes active then the other two will automatically become active. If a person is a lover of beauty he will not be a liar because lying is such an ugly thing. If a person is a lover of beauty he will not be able to do any wrong because it is so ugly to do any wrong. This means that he will not be able to steal because stealing is so ugly. So if he is totally devoted to beauty, much can become possible because of it.
Once, Gandhi was a guest at Rabindranath Tagore’s house. Rabindranath was old at the time. He was a lover of beauty; he was not concerned with truth or goodness. This only means that these were not his direct paths – he was a lover of beauty. Gandhi was his guest. It was evening and the two were about to go out for a walk when Rabindranath said, “Wait a moment, I would like to comb my hair.”
Gandhi said, “What an absurd thing to say! Comb your hair?”
Gandhi had shaved his head so he did not have the problem of combing his hair. And in his old age to worry about combing one’s hair was a bit strange, and for Gandhi it was unthinkable. He waited a bit angrily but he could not say anything to Rabindranath.